Sunday, November 29, 2020


The coincidence of Charles Schulz’ birthday falling on Thanksgiving 2020 is serendipitous as it reminds me that there are still things for which to be thankful in this most trying year. I’ve been thinking about Schulz a lot lately, as I just finished reading What Cartooning Really Is, Fantagraphics’ new collection of interviews with the late cartoonist, and fall and winter for me always incorporate seasonal Peanuts works, including comics, cartoons, and music. 

As part of my ongoing #POOC work (that’s Panels Out of Context, as seen here), I recently tackled some autumnal and winter-themed Peanuts panels, and discovered that as much fun as it is to redraw Charlie Brown and the gang on a nice summer day, it’s WAY more rewarding to put them in the setting of a chilly autumn early dusk, or (even better) a snowy, wintry day. When coloring panels that were originally black and white, I always use the classic animated specials, A Charlie Brown Christmas and It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown as a palette inspiration. Those incredible painted backgrounds created for the Lee Mendelson / Bill Melendez animated shows became as synonymous with Christmas and Halloween for me as Vince Guaraldi’s music and Charles Schulz’ own unique vision. 

I hope these pieces (which do incorporate the other seasons as well) are viewed as the affectionate homages they’re intended. Here's the legacy of Sparky Schulz, something about which I really need to write a lot more at some point. 

Note: The original version of this post appeared on 13th Dimension. 

Another note: Some of this artwork is available at my Etsy store, Tough Guy Goods

based on a drawing done for DC Comics publisher, Carmine Infantino

Saturday, October 17, 2020

The Pops Gallery: The Daily Superman I

In February, I began a new Instagram page, the Daily Superman, on which I post pictures of items from my somewhat extensive collection of Superman comics, toys, books, and other memorabilia. None of the imagery is aggregated from other sources, I take the pictures myself every morning while brewing my coffee. Some days the whole process (taking the pictures, choosing the filters, researching the precise names and release dates of toys, writing the copy) takes way more time than seems worth the effort, given the relatively small number of followers I have compared to other Superman collector Instagram pages. I think one of the reasons I'm not gaining more traction is that I have an esthetic filter that can be off-putting to more rabid fans.... I don't just buy everything that has an \S/ shield slapped on it, I eschew most modern merch, and have not read Superman comics regularly in over twenty years. Most obsessive-fan pages skew way more modern (Funko Pops abound, a phenomenon I hold in bitter disdain) and don't seem to ever have anything critical to offer on any iteration. Oh, well, to each their own; As I always say (and I do always say this, to some of my friends' annoyance), it's all subjective. 

So, here's a sampling of fifty photos from the first nine months of The Daily Superman. If you like what you see, please follow me! Make my morning ritual worth the time! 

Mego Superman bank

Rubber Bendy Superman figures

Purple Bizarro figures

Superman the Movie blu-Ray redux

Chemtoy Superman figures

This Looks Like a Job for Superman

Translucent Justice League Superman

Up, up, and away!

Superman Color by Number Whitman

custom Superman \S/ shield

DC Universe Superman figures

Day of the Dead Superman

Electric Superman Blue

Electric Superman Red

Ertl Superman mini-figures

Funko Superman 1st Appearance figure

DC Direct Silver Age Superman figure

Superman from the 30s to the 70s

Superman giant puzzle poster

DC Direct Superman 1st Appearance figure

Hot Wheels Action Comics #1

Ideal Playset Wonder Woman Superman

DC Direct Designer Series Jae Lee Superman figure

Kohner Superman push puppet

DC Diirect Krypto and Streaky

Krypton Bubble Gum box

glow-in-the-dark Kryptonite rocks

DC Direct Lex Luthor

Lex Luthor battle armor figures

Alfred E. Neuman Superman figure DC Direct

Mego Superman

Microman Superman figure

Superman nutcracker

Superman pencil sharpener

Whitman Superman frame tray puzzle

Whitman Superman frame-tray puzzle

Red Kryptonite Superman figure

Christopher Reeve Superman figure boots

Superman sculpture

Silver Age Lex Luthor figure DC Direct

Warner Bros. Records Superman soundtrack promo poster

Superman Super Juniors toy

John Williams Superman soundtrack

Super Powers Lex Luthor figure

Whitman Superboy puzzle pieces

DC Direct Superboy and Supergirl figures

Superman Red Superman Blue Superman 3D comic

Superman Batman World's Finest chemtoy figures

World's Finest Superman Batman DC Direct figures

Whitman Superman coloring book